Planets! Planets! It’s Full of Planets!

Planets! Planets! It's full of planets!
Planets! Planets! It’s full of planets!

The portion of the sky the Hubble Space Telescope is currently looking at is full of planets both big and small

Astronomy News – One of the greatest things about being an astronomer is the excitement of mystery and wonder you feel every time you discover something you never even suspected. This must have been the feeling running through the minds of astronomers looking at the data provided by the Hubble Space Telescope indicating the presence of planets around distant stars. The rush of adrenalin as they went over the data they had worked and waited for must have been truly euphoric.

The Hubble Space Telescope helped us discover the cosmos is full of planets
The Hubble Space Telescope helped us discover the cosmos is full of planets

What kind of planets would they find? Smaller rocky worlds like Earth, larger gas planets like Jupiter, or some unusual planet never before dreamed of. All of their hard work and dedication to the task-at-hand is about to open a door of discovery to worlds of wonder. Worlds with environments unlike anything we have experienced on Earth, where life we could never envision might have evolved. This is why astronomers spend countless days, weeks, months and ultimately lives studying the sky above our heads.

Rocky planets like Earth are starting to be found also
Rocky planets like Earth are starting to be found also

Astronomers see a sky full of planets

The small portion of the sky being studied by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope is full of planets. Some appear to be of a similar rocky composition to our home planet while others appear to be totally inhospitable to Earth-type life. Planets like Earth are thought to be mainly composed of rocky material, which is denser and thus heavier than the materials making up gas planets. The planets being found orbiting stars in the portion of the sky being surveyed by Hubble are helping to rewrite planet formation theory and other areas of astronomical study. Astronomers are finding planets of types they were expecting to find, and a few they weren’t expecting to see.

Gas planets composed mainly of carbon dioxide!
Gas planets composed mainly of carbon dioxide!

The first planets found by the Hubble Space Telescope were large gas giants, like Jupiter and Saturn, but more recent finds have included planets similar in size and possible composition to Earth. Astronomers want to study Earth-like planets in an effort to uncover more secrets concerning the birth of our own solar system and the planet, which could give us clues to the development and evolution of Earth-like life in our universe. More recent developments even include the first direct imaging of a planet orbiting a distant star.

A planet has now been seen orbiting a distant star
A planet has now been seen orbiting a distant star

The truly amazing part is Hubble is only surveying a portion of the sky with around 100,000 suns and we’re finding more and more planets as astronomers continue to refine their planet finding techniques and instruments. Once we extrapolate and calculate the number of possible planets, using the available data so far gathered, we find the number of possible planets to be beyond count.

Most of the planets found have been within 300 light years of Sol
Most of the planets found have been within 300 light years of Sol

Astronomers will use the James Webb Space Telescope to journey to the beginning of space and time

During the 2013 human space odyssey, astronomers explored a portion of the night sky with the Hubble Space Telescope and exclaimed. It’s full of planets! In the years ahead during the human journey to the beginning of space and time, we expect astronomers to discover undreamed-of worlds, revolving around suns we humans can’t even conceive of. Especially once the James Webb Space Telescope comes online we should expect to visit undreamed of planets.

This is the Near Infrared Spectrograph for the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be used to try to find more planets
This is the Near Infrared Spectrograph for the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be used to try to find more planets

Best to buckle your seatbelt and prepare for the ride of your life! The human journey to the beginning of space and time is about to take off to planets beyond imagination. In the months and years ahead we expect to visit worlds with environments we would find inhospitable at best. Worlds where human survival would be doubtful and any life we found would be unusual beyond imagination.

Click this link to watch a YouTube video on weird planets in the universe.

Weirdest Planets

Read about NASA’s Messenger spacecraft and its mission to Mercury

Have you heard about the recent meteorite that exploded near the Ural Mountains

Read about the supernova astronomers are studying looking for a black hole they think was created during the explosion

The First Possible Cradle for a New Human Genesis?

Six exo-planets are circling red dwarf star Gliese 581 20 light-years distant in the constellation Libra

 
Astronomy News – The human search for an exoplanet capable of being a cradle for a new human genesis found what many consider the first exoplanet with the physical makeup to make it possible. A team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institute of Washington recently announced to the world the discovery of an exoplanet they believe has a few characteristics of an exoplanet with the right stuff to make life possible. Gliese 581g, as it’s referred too, has about three times the mass of Earth and appears to be situated in the right spot in the solar system of the red dwarf star Gliese 581 for the ingredients of life to exist. This is about dead center in what planet scientists term the habitable zone of Gliese 581, a position planet scientists believe could make it possible for water and an atmosphere to exist on this exoplanet, necessary ingredients for the formation of life, planet scientists believe. 

Astronomers search for a cradle for a new human genesis

 
These planet hunters have been using one of the largest time-machine-to-the-stars on the planet, the Keck I Telescope in Hawaii’s W.M Keck Observatory, to journey 20 light years to the constellation of Libra to continue the search for more planets circling red dwarf star Gliese 581 that could be habitable. Planet hunters have been using the HIRES spectrometer to precisely measure the radial velocity of the host star – the motion of the star along the line of sight from Earth – and stars close to red dwarf star Gliese 581, in order to try to find other planets circling this red dwarf star. The gravitational pull of orbiting planets causes periodic changes in the radial velocity of the host star that astronomers can calculate using sophisticated mathematical techniques we’ll cover on another day. These are the techniques planet hunters used in order to find all of the stars they have found circling red dwarf star Gliese 581, which after the two most recent planet discoveries, brings the total to six exoplanets circling this distant star.

Astronomers believe Gliese 581g is in the habitable zone of its home star

 
The discovery of six exoplanets circling red dwarf star Gliese 581 marks the high-planet mark for the human hunt for planets capable of being a cradle for a new human genesis. Gliese 581g is the only planet of the six exoplanets discovered that astronomers have indicated, so far, as being in the life zone of the red dwarf star Gliese 581. This exoplanet orbits its parent star in about 37 days and measurements planet scientists have made of its mass indicates it’s probably a rocky planet with a definite surface and enough gravity to hang onto an atmosphere. Gliese 581g is also tidally locked to its parent star, which means that one side of the planet is always facing its host star and in perpetual daylight. This makes some planet scientists believe that the best place for life to exist would be in the terminator, the part of the planet between the day and night sides of the planet.
  
Is this how the day would look on the daylight side of Gliese 581g?

 

 
Is there water on Gliese 581g and an atmosphere? Planet scientists are currently trying to find out

Check out my latest astronomy website at http://astronomytonight.yolasite.com/.

Learn why astronomy binoculars are a popular choice with amateur astronomers

Read about the Anasazi Indians

Read about astronomers viewing a supernova they think might have given birth to a black hole

The More We Look, the More We Wonder?

 

Do we really know anything? 

 
Astronomy News – The more astronomers look around on the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time, the more they realise we really have only scratched the surface of the known universe, and we really know nothing. This is exciting, for sure, for astronomers viewing the universe, but it means space scientists are constantly reworking theories and ideas concerning the universe and the way things really work. Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to view a distant gas-giant planet called Upsilon Andromedae b recently noticed a warm spot on this planet’s surface that according to previous ideas seems to be a bit out of position. Upsilon Andromedae b circles very closely to its parent star and belongs to a class of planets astronomers refer to as hot Jupiters, because of the intense temperatures and large, gaseous makeup of these planets. One face of this planet is always directly facing the intense heat produced by the sun and because of this, it would seem logical that the hottest parts of this planet should be directly facing the sun. Previous views of hot Jupiters have shown astronomers that it was possible for hot spots on these types of planets to be slightly shifted away from the sun’s direct heat. The viewing of this hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b using the Spitzer Space Telescope has thrown a wrench into this idea, though, because the hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b, is offset by a whopping 80 degrees, and sits practically on the other side of the planet. 
 

Every time we get one answer, ten more questions appear

This is very disconcerting to astronomers who were thinking they were beginning to figure a few things out about hot-Jupiter type planets. Scientists are presently working at trying to figure out how the hottest spot on Upsilon Andromedae b could be so far from the main source of heat in the solar system? In this effort they’re currently looking at similar hot Jupiters to Upsilon Andromedae b, to see if they can find any clue to this mystery, and we’ll keep you updated as the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time continues.
Astronomers found a warm spot on the cool side of this red exo-planet
How did this warm spot get over here on the cool side of the planet?

Check out my latest astronomy project at http://astronomytonight.yolasite.com/.

Learn why astronomy binoculars are a popular choice with amateur astronomers

Read about the Anasazi Indians

Read about astronomers viewing a supernova they think might have given birth to a black hole

Astronomers using the Magellan Telescope are studying HD 106906 b

You Think Life on Earth is Tough!

Journey to this system to see what life would be like

Take a “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” and view exoplanets that might be more like death-planets for humans

You might find life to be a little harder here

Surviving space is going to be hard

Astronomy News – Planets circling twin stars close in proximity could be a real tough place for life to begin, according to the conclusions of a study conducted using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Space scientists using NASA’s infrared observatory recently found what they believe to be clouds of possible dust around three mature, close-orbiting binary stars. Dust that scientists think is possibly the result of the planets orbiting these twin stars colliding, which could make living on these planets difficult for any lifeforms that might have arisen on these planets.

Planetary collisions are possible real-life science fiction in action, as the reasons for the dust clouds are certainly a matter of conjecture and something that any science fiction writer is going to be able to spin a tale of annihilation around. Lifeforms evolving under the environmental conditions that possibly exist on planets orbiting binary stars of the particular class studied would certainly be something beyond the imagination of any human writer. It’s unlikely that anything we humans create using our imaginations could ever match the possibilities that exist in space and time. The finite imaginations of humans are limited by our senses, experiences and the limits of what we refer to as our human perception or intelligence to some.

Lifeforms evolving on these planets would have to survive possible planetary collisions at regular intervals if space scientists conclusions are correct? If they have the ability to sense the world beyond their normal lives? Lifeforms existing on these planets could be non-sentient and unable to perceive the annihilation above them. They could be looking up at annihilation coming toward them in the form of another planet, asteroid, or other celestial body orbiting the binary star systems in question. They may have been destroyed in a recent collision between planets and are space dust, once again. The view would be a spectacular one, though, with two huge suns that would exceed anything we experienced viewing the double stars systems in the Star Wars Saga.

Humans will evolve on any new planet they inhabit

Life evolving on planets circling binary stars like the ones in question would have a limited time to evolve into a space traveling sentient race as well. The suns in the binary star system they have evolved on are slowly circling closer and closer, according to astronomers, which could possibly make surviving and evolving on these planets a lot more difficult. Lifeforms surviving and thriving on these planets would likely be a survivor beyond human imagination, so we should probably thank our lucky stars that they aren’t likely to be stopping by for a visit, anytime soon.

Humans will evolve on any planet they inhabit
We have a lot of places to look for new planets suitable for human life. Guess we better get started.

Learn why astronomy binoculars are a popular choice with amateur astronomers

Read about the Anasazi Indians

Read about astronomers viewing a supernova they think might have given birth to a black hole

The Planetary Zoo is Expanding Accommodations for New Arrivals

Astronomers have put some amazing and weird planets in the Planetary Zoo
What would life be like on a planet with such a weird orbit?

“Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” to view the planetary zoo

Looking for a new place to live?

Astronomy takes you to the far stretches of the universe in search of answers to the questions we all ask ourselves

Astronomy News – Space scientists looking at the rapidly expanding menagerie of planets being added to the planetary zoo keep coming back from their journey wide-eyed and smiling like a kid that just got the key to the candy store. The latest editions to the planetary zoo are orbiting celestial bodies in orbits totally out-of-whack with the orbits of planets previously viewed in the universe. In fact, astronomers are bringing planets to be housed in the planetary zoo, of late, that are so different space scientists are having to rethink present theories on exoplanets circling distant suns in the Milky Way.
 
Astronomers studying three known Jupiter-size exoplanets circling dwarf star Upsilon Andromeda A, which lies about 44 light-years from Earth, have determined these exo-planets are circling in orbits unlike any seen before by Earth astronomers. Orbiting at steep angles to one another, these three planets could have exotic environments and global systems, unlike anything humans can imagine. The possibilities of life existing in star systems with such potential for chaos is going to entice the imaginations of science fiction writers across the planet to create realities and scenarios sure to entertain and create fear in the human heart.
 

Astronomers studying planets are discovering things we never even guessed at

 
The theories of space scientists concerning the formation of planetary systems will have to be altered with the arrival of these new and unexpected members of the planetary zoo. The possible scenarios for the formation of planetary systems will have to be changed to include the possibility for the formation of exoplanets of this type. Possibilities that will now include the inward migration of planets orbiting distant stars, the ejection of planets from a system due to planet scattering, or the disruption of the planetary system due to gravitational interaction with Upsilon Andromedae A’s companion star, Upsilon Andromedae B.
One thing is for sure, the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” has taken a turn down a path that definitely isn’t heading to Kansas, Dorothy!
A journey to this system would be an unforgettable experience

 

 

The Search for a Cradle for a New Human Genesis Begins

Could a Cradle For a New Human Genesis be found in Our Solar System?

The human journey to the beginning of space and time is looking for a new home for mankind
Could Titan act as a cradle for a new human genesis?

Earth is quickly becoming a less hospitable place for human life

Astronomy News – The search for another home to act as a cradle for a new human genesis has turned another page today. Two papers analyzing the chemical activity reported by observations made by NASA’s Cassini Orbiter of Saturn’s moon Titan report the data is consistent with the possible presence of theoretical methane-based life and how such life forms existing in an exotic and dynamic environment could affect their surroundings.

The first paper is available online and in the August edition of Icarus and was authored by Darrell Strobel of Johns Hopkins University. This paper describes a flow of hydrogen molecules through the atmosphere of Titan that disappear at the surface. “It’s as if you have a hose and you’re squirting hydrogen onto the ground, but it’s disappearing.”

The second paper is also available online and will appear in a future issue of The Journal of Geophysical Research. This paper reports a lack of acetylene and an abundance of organic compounds on the surface of Titan. This implies that Titan could be a place in the solar system where dynamic organic chemistry is currently taking place, and Titan could be a possible place in our solar system where the elements could exist for a home to act as a cradle for a new human genesis.

This news in no way means they have found life on Titan, but it does strengthen the case for the possibility of life taking more forms and existing in environments beyond those envisioned by humans. The scientists releasing these studies can certainly be applauded for keeping an open mind to the possibility that life exists beyond the bounds set by human imagination. We should keep in mind that chemical processes can also explain the data collected by the Cassini Orbiter and this is certainly a much simpler explanation for a flow of hydrogen molecules through the atmosphere of Titan that disappears at the surface. Indeed, hydrogen would seem to be the element of choice to consume in life processes on Titan. We should probably exhaust all other possibilities, before suggesting there the result of life processes, though, and save the existence of life for the last conclusion.

Astronomers are currently busy looking for a cradle for a new human genesis

Read about NASA’s Messenger spacecraft and its mission to Mercury

Have you heard about the recent meteorite that exploded near the Ural Mountains

Read about the supernova astronomers are studying looking for a black hole they think was created during the explosion

Cradle for a New Human Genesis

    The search for a new home for human life has started

Astronomers are looking for blue planets inside their home stars life zone
Planets with water are the goal of astronomers

Astronomy will be the next great science

Astronomy News – The search for planets capable of acting as a cradle for a new human genesis has begun. Astronomers are searching the night sky above you for planets circling distant stars within what space scientists refer to as a stars life-zone or habitable-zone. This zone is at an orbital distance from a star allowing for the formation of the elements necessary for Earth-based life to exist. In the search for planets capable of supporting Earth-based life, astronomers are mainly looking for water.

Only looking for planets with the elements we know can support Earth-based life could be putting human-made limitations on the search for habitable planets and the creation of life that will prevent us from seeing the whole picture. Life-on-Earth has always shown itself to be adaptable, unpredictable and totally uncontrollable, and the environments life could evolve in are probably beyond current human imagination. Space scientists conducting computer simulations of planetary systems indicate that the variables that determine the life-zone of a star and its suitability for human life are just being studied and discussed. Water could exist in a usable form for the creation of life during specific periods of time on a planet’s surface for Earth-like planets close to a Jupiter-size planet orbiting in a highly elliptical orbit. A description that fits many of the exoplanets discovered, so far, space scientists note.

We could find that human life is more adaptable than we first thought

Planets with the necessary ingredients to support human-based life are hard to find

A highly perturbed orbit could result in an Earth-like planet experiencing long time-periods of freezing and heating temperatures, with a period of ideal weather for the creation of life, squeezed in between. Hardly the ideal situation for human life and this simulation is only one of the possible exotic habitats we could find on our “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”. Human life could be walking on planets in the centuries ahead where the length of a day varies wildly, the seasons are unrecognizable, and the year just seems to go on forever.

The crazy zoo-of-planets astronomers are discovering in the night sky is threatening to break the human-made shackles we have attempted to put upon them. The environmental conditions on one or some of these planets could one day provide the elements for a new human genesis that could shatter the foundations of belief systems across planet Earth. Environments capable of supporting human evolution and the development of higher life forms? Astronomers and space scientists have taken another step forward to discovering an answer to this question and astrobiologists are currently continuing the search for a second-Earth for humankind.

Astronomy buffs need to check out the Planetary Zoo

Read about NASA’s Messenger spacecraft and its mission to Mercury

Have you heard about the recent meteorite that exploded near the Ural Mountains

Read about the supernova astronomers are studying looking for a black hole they think was created during the explosion